Students baffled over Barclays ‘research’

Elspeth Carruthers - Deputy News Editor 27 January 2011

In a model they have coined ‘Kittynomics’, Barclays claim that 33% of Cambridge students and 60% of those in Oxford are saving £193 million annually by pooling money to pay for shared costs. It is claimed these range from heating bills to joint birthday presents.

According to the research, students are carefully managing their joint funds, even appointing brokers and asset managers to plan spending and keep track of cash. Allegedly, the average ‘kitty’ has four members and around 30% of students are using online banking to look after their shared funds.

Dan Wass, Director of Current Accounts at Barclays, said that it was “very encouraging to see that so many students are taking a sensible approach to managing their money to help them cope with university’s financial pressures. ‘Kittynomics’ is becoming an increasingly popular way for students to financially plan on a shoestring, as it can save them money each term.”

The research has been met with surprise by Cambridge students, almost none of whom live in shared accommodation that requires them to pay heating bills or similar. The claims by Barclays have been received by some as an ill-conceived advertising stunt. One second-year historian at Pembroke said: “That’s definitely not true. I literally don’t know anyone who does that.”

Elspeth Carruthers – Deputy News Editor